Accessibility in Staten Island Bathroom Remodeling

at | Category: Bathroom Remodeling

If someone in your family has a disability or is aging, your Staten Island bathroom remodel design will either make the remodeled bathroom more comfortable and accessible or inaccessible. Your design can easily incorporate the features and space recommendations that will make the bathroom more accessible for everyone.

The housing industry has outlined several levels of accessibility standards in Staten Island bathroom design and construction ranging from barrier free to accessible to industry standard housing. The main difference is in how accessible it is for everyone with special needs. Over the last few decades, bathroom designers, architects and manufacturers of fixtures and other bathroom safety products have begun to respond to the need for greater accessibility (and safety) in bathrooms. The result is a set of standards known as universal design.

Many of these features are nice to have in any home and can be added with little or no cost when you remodel a bathroom. Regardless of your current situation, you might want to review the list and see if some of these recommendations can work in your new bathroom for the comfort of your family.

The universal design recommendations for bathrooms include:
-Place electrical receptacles at 15 or 18 inches above the floor
-Allow a door opening width of 34 – 36 inches
-Leave a minimum of 18 inches of clear floor space beside all doors on the “pull side” to allow space to get out of the way when opening doors
-Leave a turning space in the bathroom of 5 feet in diameter (for wheelchair)
-Use contrasting colors between floor surfaces and trim to make them easier to see
-Choose easy-to-use hardware: lever door handles, push electrical plates, loop handle pulls on drawers and cabinet doors, lever faucet handles, touch latches, keyless locks
-Position light switches 35-44 inches above the floor, maximum
-Pressure balanced anti-scald valves at tubs and showers
-Hand-held showerheads at all tubs and showers in addition to fixed heads.
-Bathing fixture requirement: minimum 5 feet long by 3 feet deep (4 feet preferred) curbless shower or tub with integral seat, waterproof floor and a floor drain
-30” by 48” clear floor spaces at each fixture (spaces may overlap)
-Clear space of 3 feet in front and to one side of toilet
-Toilet centered 18 inches from any side wall, cabinet or tub
-Broad blocking between studs in walls around toilet, tub and shower for placement and location of grab bars
-Minimum lavatory counter height of 32 inches
-Clear knee space 29” high under sink (may be accomplished with fold-back self-storing doors)
-No pedestal sinks
-Mount sink as close to front of countertop as possible.

These are the primary elements of “universal design” in bathrooms. You might, however, choose to install grab bars in tub and shower and beside and in front of the toilet simply because it is helpful for people of all ages and physical ability. Contact your Staten Island contractor to discuss what options will work for your home.

Accessibility in Staten Island Kitchen Remodeling

at | Category: Kitchen Remodeling

Many Staten Island families find it necessary to consider accessibility in designing their kitchen because of a family member with a disability or because of aging family members who are experiencing some physical limitations. At this time, there is no code of accessible design for residential homes. There are, however, sets of guidelines for various levels of home accessibility. Many of the features needed by persons with disabilities are also attractive and useful to others.

If you want to make your remodeled Staten Island kitchen more accessible, here are some of the basic steps you might take:

  • Raise electrical outlets from the standard height of 12 inches to 15 or 18 inches above the floor
  • Consider wider hallways and doors (34-36 inches)
  • Do not include interior steps
  • Color contrast between trim and surface of the floor
  • Lever door handles, loop handle pulls on drawers and cabinet doors, touch latches or magnetic latches on cabinets
  • Light switches at 36-44 inches above the floor
  • Single lever water controls
  • Pressure balanced anti-scald valve at sinks
  • Space between face of cabinets and walls of 48 inches or more
  • Clear knee space under sink
  • Adjustable-height work surfaces (28-42 inches)
  • Stretches of continuous counter tops for easy sliding of heavy items
  • Pantry storage with easy access pull-out or adjustable-height shelves
  • Front-mounted controls on appliances
  • Cook top with knee space below
  • Side-by-side refrigerator to allow easy access to all items
  • Built-in oven with knee space beside
  • Dishwasher raised on a platform or drawer unit so top rack is level with adjacent counter top
  • Crank operated windows

Design help is also available from organizations like the Arthritis Foundation, the MS Foundation, the Parkinson’s Foundation and agencies on Aging. These organizations can also help you find architects and certified kitchen designers in Staten Island who have the knowledge and experience to help you make good choices in creating an accessible kitchen. These organizations can also help you find manufacturers who make the appropriate styles of appliances.

The primary considerations in kitchen accessibility are:
1. Space – enough open space in the appropriate parts of the kitchen to allow someone to turn a wheelchair or a scooter.
2. Access – counter height, appliance design and storage design that is accessible to someone with reaching, bending or standing limitations.
3. Safety – think about and plan for alternative ways to do things, such as moving heavy items, reaching across cook tops or ranges, ability to reach needed items from a wheelchair.

With some research and thought you can create an accessible and stylish Staten Island kitchen remodeling design that will be fully accessible and safe for family members with mobility limitations.